During the past 15 years, the use of ferric chloride in treating drinking water has become increasingly popular. Significant improvements to product quality, availability, and decreased cost are three factors driving this increased interest in ferric chloride.
Ferric chloride is one of the purest and most concentrated forms of iron commercially available for drinking water treatment. Its unique chemistry functions as a reactant to remove impurities from the water, also acting as a coagulant and flocculent.
Let’s highlight the value of using ferric chloride in drinking water treatment, and discuss the storage challenges and solutions for this chemical.
The Value of Ferric Chloride
Ferric chloride provides drinking water treatment operations the following benefits:
- It’s extremely effective in removing high and low turbidity
- Removes color and discoloration, such as NOM and DBP precursors
- It works over a wide pH range
- Requires a lower dosage than other sulfate based coagulants
- It’s available at low cost
- Creates a heavier flock that settles faster and works better in cold water
- Produces higher sludge concentrations. This means decreased sludge disposal costs.
- The high iron content sludge produced is not considered hazardous to the environment. It is compatible and beneficial with many land application residual programs.
While ferric chloride offers a versatile, cost-effective solution to drinking water treatment, it does present storage challenges.
Ferric Chloride: Storage Challenges and Solutions
Ferric chloride is a high fuming chemical. These fumes can potentially defoliate surrounding trees and plants.
When storing Ferric Chloride in a chemical storage tank, a fume-tight manway lid cover prevents fumes from escaping the tank. Adding a scrubber provides a cost-effective solution to address any potential fuming into the atmosphere while using ferric chloride.